Sun Dangles SOA Service Registry

Sun Microsystems is offering a service registry to help clients pinpoint and manage Web services, a boon for corporations that have such services scattered far and wide across their networks.

Registries are important tools for Web services users. Without such repositories, users find it nearly impossible to find the right services when they need them, because application-based services are typically spread across remote computers.

The Sun Service Registry software offers a central repository to help users discover, use and, if necessary, reuse Web services. The utility manages services across systems that employ various vendor software pieces, supporting both UDDI version 3 and ebXML Registry 3.0 standards.

The registry allows users to manage Web services, based on pre-set policies, from the time they are created until users are ready to be dispose of them. The software also includes a compartment to store metadata about the services. This helps specific transactions be easily found.

Ashesh Badani, group manager for SOAs at Sun, said the metadata storage and Web services lifecycle management are what separates Sun’s Service Registry from products from rivals such as Systinet, Infravio, IBM, Microsoft and others.

“Our contention is that for true SOA governance, you need more than just the discovery of and access to Web services, you need the lifecycle management services and metadata management,” Badani said in an interview.

The software is the latest move by the systems vendor to help customers corral and integrate myriad computing components under a service-oriented architecture (SOA). SOAs are frameworks for reusable code and services that facilitate Web services transactions across disparate networks.

Sun said future Java Enterprise Server components will integrate with the Service Registry, including Access Manager for user authentication, Application Server deployer/administrator for managing service lifecycles, Java Studio Enterprise service developer for develop-deploy-test cycles, and a Portal Server for managing WS-Remote Portlet and producer descriptions.

Further down the road, Sun plans to integrate the registry with the Application Platform Suite and the Identity Management Suite. Also, customer applications will be able to integrate via Service Registry APIs and protocols.

Sun will demonstrate the Service Registry at JavaOne 2005 in two weeks, with a mind to ship the product as part of the Sun Java ES R4 stack in the fall. Customers will be able to poke and prod an early beta of the Service Registry in the Java Web Services Developer Pack (Java WSDP) 1.6, which will also be available later this month.

Sun has been more proactive in its SOA work of late. Last month, the Santa Clara, Calif., company joined rivals IBM and BEA Systems in offering SOA services and education. The tool, SOA Path, allows customers to use Sun’s Java software and services to support an enterprise’s SOA.

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